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FG issues directives on broadcasting industry reformation, job creation

By Akintoye Temitope,

Following presidency’s recommendations on improvement and reformation of Nigerian Broadcast Industry, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has directed the broadcasting regulatory body to immediately
implement measures aimed at re-positioning broadcasting industry.

The aim, according to to the Lai Mohammed, is to sanitizing the industry, creating jobs, promoting local content, boosting the advert industry and bringing the broadcast industry up to par with the best practices from around the world.

Through a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, the minister said that the directive had become necessary following submission of the report of the special committee he had set up to work out modalities for implementing the government approved recommendations.

”Following my satisfaction with the report which was very professional and detailed, I wish to direct the Commission to take the necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various provisions therein. This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring;
Independence of the Regulator and ease of issuing Licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues.”

He said that the new rules will compel broadcasters to utilize the content and services of Nigerian independent producers thus meeting regulatory requirements of 70% local content, doing away with the current abuse of regulations which had allowed loopholes for the production of such content in locations outside Nigeria. As a result, it was expected that local producers will be empowered with proper funding and investment,  an enhancement   of foreign collaborations and major development of the local industry ultimately leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Mohammed explained that the new regulations were also to ensure prompt payment for adverts and sponsored content placed on all broadcast platforms as well as ensuring the production of said adverts locally. Musical content had now been regulated to protect works of artistes from illegal and unpaid use, making necessary the full payment of royalties as at when due to the proper recipients.

On Sports, he noted that exclusivity of sporting rights had been prohibited, following the new regulation, broadcasters and exclusive licensees now had to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investments.

”This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees”.

He expressed certainty that the new regulations, which are due to come into effect this month, will re-energize the broadcast industry, deliver real value in the sector and grow the creative industry for the benefit of the practitioners.

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